What Happens If A Business Partner Steals From Your Partnership?
A partnership is a type of business entity. Partners are required to put a great deal of trust in each other to act in good faith. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. You may be stuck with a business partner who has stolen money from the company or otherwise committed fraud. This raises an important question: What do you do if your business partner is stealing? You need to be proactive. In Florida, you may have a viable civil (or even criminal) legal claim against them. Here, our West Palm Beach partnership dispute attorney discusses your rights and options if your partner stole from your partnership in South Florida.
Theft By a Business Partner Can take Many Different Forms
Theft from a business partnership by a business partner in Florida can take a wide range of different forms. Some of the most notable examples include:
- Embezzlement of company funds;
- Unauthorized use of company assets;
- Misappropriation of company property; and
- The falsifying company records for personal gain.
You Need to Act to Stop Further Stealing: Protect Accounts and Document Theft/Fraud
If you suspect that a partner is stealing from the business, it is crucial to act quickly to prevent further damage. Protect the company’s accounts immediately. You may want to consider changing passwords, placing restrictions on certain transactions, and monitoring financial statements.* It is imperative that you comprehensively document any instances of theft or fraud, including the date, time, and circumstances surrounding the incidents. Gathering this information will help you build a case if you need to pursue legal action.
*Note: You should consult with a partnership law attorney before taking major action. You do not want to get yourself into trouble by doing something that is outside of the scope of your rights under the partnership agreement and state law.
You Can Take Civil Legal Action Against a Business Partner Who Breaches their Duty
Florida law (Florida Statutes § 620.8404) imposes a “duty of loyalty” and “duty of care” on business partners. In other words, business partners owe these duties to the partnership and to each other. Theft—whether because of embezzlement, fraud, or misappropriation of funds—is a breach of a partner’s legal duties on Florida law. They can be held liable through a civil legal claim. Of course, these are complex, fact-intensive cases. If you are considering suing a business partner for theft from the business, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced South Florida lawyer.
Speak to a West Palm Beach Partnership Lawyer Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, it is our mission to provide the highest quality of professional representation to our clients. If you have any questions about dealing with a business partner who stole from your partnership, we are here to help you navigate the civil legal claims process. Contact us today for a confidential, no obligation case review. From our West Palm Beach office, our firm handles partnership law issues in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.